Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), while rallying against the extension of Title 42, compared turning away migrants using the law to turning away Jewish refugees who were arriving by ship at the start of World War II.
"We have dark chapters. Like when the St. Louis, during the Holocaust, sailed to our shores and was turned around, where folks were sent back to those horrors and many died," Booker said.
"It was coming out of that history that we as a nation affirmed that our values, our ideals, our virtue would be made real in law codified by our government. That we would say ‘Never again'," he concluded.
Booker was referring to the voyage of the St. Louis, during which over 900 Jews who fled Germany under Hitler in 1939 were turned away by the United States, Canada, and then Cuba.
Booker, standing at a lectern that read "#AsylumIsARight," further commented that despite the history, the U.S. is now "putting people in crisis and in danger," according to Fox News.
Booker also used biblical references to make his point, quoting the book of Isaiah by saying that American values "distinguish us as a light unto all nations."
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also attended the press conference, stating that she wishes to hold administrations accountable for the rights of immigrants and immigrant families.
AOC criticized President Biden for pivoting away from a promise to end Title 42, which allows the expulsion of illegal immigrants coming across the border "from designated places to prevent spread of communicable diseases."
"Last year, President Biden promised to end Title 42, instead he is now expanding restrictions on asylum-seekers," Ocasio-Cortez remarked.
"The right to seek asylum is enshrined in domestic and international law, and the United States is a shining example and we have sought and aspired to be an example to uphold international law. Instead this administration is making it effectively impossible to seek refuge at our border," the congresswoman explained.
AOC went on to explain how she believed courts were correct to reject what she called President Trump's "attempt to categorically end asylum."
Congressman Greg Casar (D-Texas) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) also spoke at the press conference.
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